iFixit’s iPhone 12 Pro Max teardown reveals “Apple’s finest iPhone-related achievement this year”

iFixit, the teardown experts, pulled apart the new iPhone 12 Pro Max to examine the internal hardware, its design and to give it a repairability score out of 10. With the teardown of the biggest iPhone 12 model, the iFixit engineers have opened all iPhone 12 models.

iPhone 12 Pro Max is not only bigger in size, but it also has advanced hardware. Powered by an A14 Bionic chip, the model has a 6.7-inch Super Retina XDR OLED display, 5G network support, and 6GB RAM and 125GB storage.

More interestingly, it has an advanced triple-lens camera system with 87% improvement in low-light performance, 2.5x telephoto lens, sensor-shift stabilization, LiDAR scanner, and more. Apple has redesigned the exterior with flat curved edges for better grip. Here are all the details of the model’s teardown.

iFixit teardown of iPhone 12 Pro Max

The X-ray blueprint is the same as the other iPhone 12 models, with the exception of the steel frame. With heat and a little persuasion, the engineers were got inside the Pro Max mode which opened like a book to the left.

Cameras

The iPhone 12 Pro has a 47% larger sensor which enables it to gather more light for better photos. X-ray vision revealed that the new sensor is bigger and surrounded by four magnets. The sensor-shift image stabilization performs exceptionally well to capture high-quality images.

The primary wide-angle sensor is large, 47% larger, and with 12MP resolution for larger pixels and to capture more light.

“That’s a technology many modern DSLR and mirrorless cameras use. When your hands shake, there are two main ways to stabilize the image: you can move the lens, or you can move the sensor.”

Battery 

The larger battery has a wider L shape. X-ray vision reveals that it’s quite full to the brim, if not completely full. The new “high-tech shape” allows it to pack more capacity.

Logic Board 

iPhone 12 Pro Mac has a more compact Logic board than iPhone 12 mini, which benefits from a detached modular SIM reader. Unfortunately, some of the chips were lost due to overuse of heat. Here is the list of the salvaged chips found in the logic board of 6.7-inch iPhone 12.

  • 128 GB of Kioxia NAND flash memory
  • ST Microelectronics STB601A power management IC
  • Qualcomm’s SDR865 5G and LTE transceiver, SDX55M 5G modem-RF system, and SMR526 intermediate frequency IC
  • USI 339S00761 WLAN / Bluetooth module
  • Avago 8200 high/mid-band power amplifier with integrated duplexer
  • Murata 1XR-482 mmWave front-end module

Taptic Engine 

The Taptic Engine, located above the speakers, has a little black plastic sidecar, probably to support the display or the extra battery bumper.

Repairability Score 

Out of 10, iPhone 12 Pro Max got a 6 repairability score (10 is the easiest). Screen, battery, and most components can be easily replaced. However, few screws and waterproofing complicate the repair. The glass back is completely not repairable, if damaged, the entire casing has to be replaced.

Verdict

After pulling apart all four models of the iPhone 12 lineup, iFixit engineers are impressed by the high-end iPhone 12 Pro Max.

“The Pro Max is arguably Apple’s finest iPhone-related achievement this year, adding some pretty demanding 5G tech with no obvious compromises to other components.”

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